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Do Exposed Lead Tips of Bullets Melt During Flight?

 
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  #1  
Old 03-12-2005, 09:36 PM
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Do Exposed Lead Tips of Bullets Melt During Flight?

Have been told that bullets (with exposed lead tips) will melt from the heat / high-speed friction while going through the air.

Is this true? If so, then the uneven or jagged exposed lead tips don't matter too much because they will melt during flight.
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  #2  
Old 03-13-2005, 12:48 AM
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Re: Do Exposed Lead Tips of Bullets Melt During Flight?

No. That is a myth.

Try this. Hold a 22 cal bullet with an exposed lead tip in a pair of suitable pliers. Now put a flame from a small hand held torch on the tip of the bullet for 1 second. This represents the time it takes a .22 coming out of a .22-250 at 4000 feet per second to go about 700 yards.

The tip wont melt in 1 second even when facing a torch.
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Old 03-13-2005, 07:56 PM
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Re: Do Exposed Lead Tips of Bullets Melt During Flight?

I agree Completely
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Old 03-14-2005, 03:57 PM
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Re: Do Exposed Lead Tips of Bullets Melt During Flight?

I have seen some 'melting' or is it more of a mechanical erosion of the lead, from the powder column acting on the exposed lead BASE of FJM bullets.

Supposedly this also contributes to air borne lead contamination in indoor ranges.
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  #5  
Old 03-14-2005, 04:42 PM
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Re: Do Exposed Lead Tips of Bullets Melt During Flight?

You are correct (to the best of my knoledge) about the exposed lead at the base being effected. The intense heat AND pressure can be expected to cause an erosion to the soft, low melt temp lead as well as the throat of a steel bore. I am not a big pistol shooter but it is also my understanding that this is one of the reasons for a copper "gas check" to be installed on the base of lead bullets fired from big bore handguns that accelerate slower and are sitting on top of a considerable dose of gunpowder.

This heat is sufficient to ignite a phosphorus core on a tracer round even though the bullet is in contact with this superheated gas for less than a pico pico pico second.

Now as a side note, I have witnessed a friend shoot a bullet out of a .22-250 and print a nice sub MOA group. He then loaded the same components but either a hotter charge or a different powder (I dont know which) and fire at the same target and not a single round made the trip. Why? Dunno. Maybe the aliens beamed it up mid flight.
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Old 03-15-2005, 10:34 PM
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Re: Do Exposed Lead Tips of Bullets Melt During Flight?

I don't think the tip melts. but some bullets, because of the construction, IE thin jacket or soft core go from being a spitzer to a semi roundnose. In a visit with Bill Stiger (Bitterroot Bullets) talk with me about that. In, I think the Speer #9 manual in the back, page 449 I think is a high speed photo which my shed some light on that.
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Old 03-21-2005, 05:00 PM
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Re: Do Exposed Lead Tips of Bullets Melt During Flight?

I have read articles about high speed bullets spining at 250,000 rpm. They have determined that the friction caused by accelerating from 0-3500+ fps in milliseconds causes the lead in the bullet core to become molten. That is the only way you can explain the total vaporization of small varmints. The thin copper jackets just fly appart on impact.

You have to watch your bullet design with any of the 3600+ fps bullets. Out of 220 swift I have had just little pin holes piercing the paper at 100 yards because the 52 grain bullets are disintegrating in the air right out of the barrel.
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